Who Else Wants to Stop Overeating?
The answer to the title question is, of course, obvious: you do! You and me and many other people. Can you? Luckily, the answer is a definite “Yes.” Is there some ‘secret’ you’ve never heard before? Is there a miracle plan? No, but there are commonsense ways to stop overeating that you can adopt.
One reason people overeat is to compensate for anxiety. Decrease the guilt, shame, and frustration and there is less incentive to overcome negative emotions by gorging on food.
Self-Help To Reduce Negative Emotions
There are a dozen self-help methods for improving your skills in that area. (Yes, they are learned skills. Emotions are not “just there;” they have causes. You can change them.) Here are a few:
When you feel that urge to eat again – even if you’re not really hungry and may even feel full – take ten seconds to stop and think. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Have a glass of water while you do. Think about the event or person that caused your negative emotion.
Weigh consciously whether you really HAVE to experience that bad feeling, or whether there’s another way to evaluate the experience. For example, you may be a teen girl who was just taunted about your appearance. You reach for food to ease the hurt. But do you really have to care so much about what others think, especially if they’re cruel?
Easy Ways to Change Bad Habits
Another simple technique for reducing binge eating episodes – in amount and duration – is simply to slow down. Instead of wolfing down everything within reach, take your time. Let your body catch up with your brain, which will send signals that your anxiety has lessened as you eat.
There is a time lag between the intake of food and the hormonal changes it produces inside us. Giving your brain and body time to synchronize helps reduce the amount of food you want. Stretch that time longer and longer.
Then stretch the periods between eating a little longer. Not too long, though. In general, for overeaters, it’s better to eat smaller amounts more frequently than huge meals three or four times a day.
Remember, 200 calories per mini-meal consumed in six meals per day is only 1,200 calories. That’s a healthy low-calorie diet (provided it’s made up of healthy food, of course).
Get Help For Zero Cost
One way to reduce overeating that costs nothing is to start sharing meals with others who are trying to stop too.
As we said, one thing that drives us to overeat is negative emotions. Sometimes, those are simply the result of loneliness, feeling unwanted or undesirable, etc. So, one way to combat that is to eat with a friend having the same problem or join a support group and share outings.
Keep in mind, though, that those are not occasions to simply ‘pig out’ with people who have your same eating disorder. Sure, misery loves company, but the idea is to stop being miserable. Find people who, rather than wallowing in their problem, have really committed to change, like you have.
If you want to stop overeating, it’s possible. In fact, though it’s difficult, it’s not as hard as you believe right now. Follow some commonsense ideas and commit to full awareness of your self and life in general. Make small changes within your control today, rather than striving for huge changes beyond your ability right now.
Soon, sooner than you now believe, you will stop overeating and the problem will get smaller and smaller… just as you will.